Jordan charges Islamist cleric Abu Qatada with terrorism: Judicial official

AMMAN (AFP) - Jordanian military prosecutors charged Islamist cleric Abu Qatada with terrorism offences on Sunday after Britain deported him to face a retrial, a judicial official said.

"State security court prosecutors charged Abu Qatada with conspiracy to carry our terrorist acts," the official told Agence France-Presse.

"He was remanded in judicial custody for 15 days in the Muwaqqar prison" in eastern Jordan, the official added, without elaborating.

Abu Qatada pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Reporters were not allowed into the courtroom to hear the charges being read out despite a pledge by Information Minister Mohammad Momani for "transparency" in Jordan's handling of Abu Qatada's retrial.

The charges already earned him a life sentence in absentia, but Jordanian law gives him the right to a retrial with him present in the dock.

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